abc
QUICK LINKS:

Duluth Councilor Proposes City-Owned Casino

Updated: 07/08/2014 10:09 PM
Created: 07/08/2014 9:19 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Duluth residents are voicing frustration with the city's new street fee so one city councilor is proposing a new casino at the DECC to bring in more revenue.

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa stopped paying rent to the City of Duluth for the downtown casino in 2009. A legal battle over the payments continues, but the revenue from the Fond-du-luth Casino amounted to about $6 million a year, which the city used on street maintenance. 

City Councilor Howie Hanson said the lost revenue is the main reason the council passed a new street fee last month.

“They called that the street fee. I call it the casino revenue replacement fee,” Hanson said.

He hopes the city can work out a deal with the Fond du Lac Band by the end of the year. If not, his resolution will push the state legislature to change gambling laws to allow for city-owned casinos.

“The responses that I'm getting from legislators, from people all over the state is almost deafening in terms of it's time might be here,” Hanson said.

If the law changed, Hanson envisions a new casino taking over the DECC's Pioneer Hall. He said it could bring in more money than the Fond-du-luth deal.

“Imagine if we could set aside $6 million every year, if we could set aside $8 to $10 million to fix our streets,” Hanson said.

The Fond du Lac Band has heard the argument before. In a written statement Chairwoman Karen Diver said, “The gaming market is already saturated by existing mature operations. Mr. Hanson's idea is not new and has been part of the city's past rhetoric.”

Hanson said a new casino could take a tax burden off residents, but he's not sure how other councilors feel about the idea.

“There's no way to gauge where the council or the administration is on this issue,” Hanson said.

However, their opinions will be heard soon. The resolution is up for discussion at the city council's agenda meeting on Thursday, and Hanson expects the council to vote on the resolution on Monday.

Front Page

  • Duluth Hunt To Allow Unlimited Antlerless Deer Harvest

    As hunters gear up for fall, bowhunters in Duluth are also getting ready for a change. The city hunt will allow unlimited antlerless deer to be harvested this fall. The change comes as most of the state is seeing tighter restrictions.

  • Four Republican Candidates for Minn. Governor Face Off On Air

    The four Republican candidates for Minnesota governor faced off in a radio debate Thursday morning in Duluth. Marty Seifert, Scott Honour, Jeff Johnson and Kurt Zellers addressed the issue of what to do in the case of a budget shortfall, among other questions.

  • Candidate for Minn. Secretary State: Ballot Access Is 'Primary Mission'

    A candidate for Minnesota secretary of state stopped by Duluth on Thursday. Steve Simon said his main goal as secretary of state would be to improve and maintain ballot access. Simon is one of several DFL candidates competing in the August primary.

  • Traffic came to a stop in the Duluth-bound lanes of the Blatnik Bridge on Thursday morning as officers retrieved cash thrown from a vehicle. Police: Drug Suspect Threw Cash on Blatnik Bridge

    An alleged drug suspect threw cash out of a car window on the Blatnik Bridge in Superior Thursday morning, bringing all Duluth-bound traffic to a brief standstill while officers picked up the bills. The suspect is being held at the St. Louis County Jail pending formal charges.

  • Fill The Boot Kicks Off Next Week in Twin Ports

    Drivers in the Twin Ports will soon see a curbside fundraiser next week. Fill the Boot kicks off again. The Duluth and Superior Fire Departments are raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

 
Advertisement